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Pumpkin Pie 5 Ways: Traditional, Spicy, Cheesecake Swirled, and Beyond!

It’s the season for pumpkin, and there is no finer way to enjoy the pure, simple texture and flavor of the stuff than with pumpkin pie.  A basic pumpkin pie is ridiculously simple to make.   Almost as easy as pulling a premade pie out of the freezer and plopping it into the oven.  Except, a homemade pumpkin pie has a certain smoothness and rustic sweetness that you can’t get from the preservative-laden stuff at the supermarket.  Making a pumpkin pie at home also allows you the opportunity to tinker with the ingredients.  Like a sweeter pie?  Toss is a bit more sugar.  Want a hint of caramel flavor?  Swap out the white sugar for brown.  Even better than these basic recipe changes, making a pumpkin pie at home also allows you to try out some of these simple variations.  From Pumpkin-Cheesecake Swirl to a Peacan-Streusel topped pie to a slice of  Spicy Chipotle Pie, here are 5 Pumpkin Pie variations you can make at home in minutes.


Classic Pumpkin Pie
For each of the recipes below, you’ll need a batch of this classic pumpkin pie. Once you’ve mixed up these basic ingredients, you can swirl, spice, and mix your way easily into a uniquely flavored pie in no time at all.  Of course, if you prefer a plain, old pumpkin pie, this recipe is utterly divine as is.  No matter how you make it, you can’t go wrong with this simple recipe.

What you’ll need:
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
4 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 prepared 10-inch pie crust (uncooked)
In a large bowl, beat together the pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar,  cornstarch, spice, and evaporated milk until well combined. Pour mixture into a pie crust and bake in an oven preheated to 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven heat to 350 degrees and bake an additional 40-45 minutes, until all but the very center of the pie is set. Remove and let cool before serving with fresh whipped cream.

Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake
This recipe tastes like a grown-up version of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. A classic pumpkin pie is swirled together with a rich, sweet cream cheese topping, then spotted with rich, chocolatey chips. I toted this pie to a fundraiser for our local history museum and it was the first one gone. Absolutely delicious!

What you’ll need:
1 classic pumpkin pie recipe (above)
1 deep dish pie crust, uncooked
1 (8 oz.) cube cream cheese
1 egg
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips into the bottom of the pie crust.  Spoon pumpkin pie mixture over the chocolate chips. In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, egg, and sugar. Spread on top of the pumpkin pie layer. Use a knife to swirl the two mixtured together. Sprinkle remaining mini chocolate chips on top. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until the center of the pie is set. Cool before serving.

Pumpkin Praline Pie
Rich, sweet, and brimming with crunchy pecan-caramel undertones, this pie was the favorite of my family, two girlfriend with whom I lunched last week, and their picky toddlers. Of course, it’s hard to be picky with pecans, brown sugar, and butter. To make the pie easier to slice, I suggest using chopped pecans.

What you’ll need:
1 pumpkin pie recipe
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup firm butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Pour the pumpkin pie mixture into the pie crust. In a medium bowl, use a fork to combine the brown sugar, flour, and butter until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle on top of the pie and bake according to Classic Pumpkin Pie instructions (above).

Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Pie with Dulce de Leche Whipping Cream
Don’t let the long, fancy title fool you. This pie is just as easy to make as a classic pumpkin pie, it’s just got a nice, chipotle-induced heat added to the mix. The recipe calls for Chipotle chili powder, but if you don’t have access to that, try pureeing a single, fresh jalapeno pepper. You could also stir in 3-4 tablespoons of jalapeno jelly for the same effect.

What you’ll need:
1 Classic pumpkin pie recipe
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
2 cups whipping cream
1/3 cup brown sugar
To the classic pumpkin pie recipe, add cinnamon and chili powder. A teaspoon of chipotle chili powder lends just enough heat to tingle your tongue. If you’d like the pie more or less spicy, make additions or deletions as desired. Once the spices are stirred in, pour into a 10-inch pie crust and bake according to Classic Pumpkin Pie directions (above.) In a large bowl, beat the whipping cream with an electric mixer until slightly thickened. Add brown sugar (make sure your brown sugar is fresh and soft before mixing it into the cream. Hard, grainy sugar won’t properly dissolve, leaving your whipped cream lumpy and chewy).  Beat mixture until light and fluffy.  Spoon on top of cooled pie.  Enjoy!

No-Bake Pumpkin Cheesecake
Don’t have time to make a whole pie? This no-bake pumpkin cheesecake gives you all the flavor of pumpkin pie without all of the waiting. This recipe is a great one to make the day before, it sits well in the fridge overnight and offers a mild pumpkin flavor, perfect for people who aren’t quite sure they like pumpkin at all.

What you’ll need:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
8 ounces whipped topping
1 graham cracker crust
With an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, and spices  until well blended. Fold in the whipped topping, then spoon into crust. Chill before serving.  Serve with a thin layer of whipped cream topping, and fresh raspberries or pomegranate seeds.

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